Not everyone is ‘done’ with church
The Dec. 28, 2015 & Jan. 4, 2016, Focus story, “ ‘Done’ with church, but not with God,” was way too limited to truly give a perspective of churchgoing in the United States. The reporter spoke only to those who are leaving fundamentalist churches. I wish the article had explored the churchgoing habits of Lutherans, Episcopalians, and Methodists. I strongly suspect the reporter would have found worship embracing our “increasingly pluralistic society.”
As a retired former pastor of 38 years in five churches, I have some empathy for those who no longer attend the “Sunday morning experience.” Most churches I have known are set-in-their-ways conservative. Pastors and other parishioners who try to encourage thinking outside the box often run into trouble. But a common theme in the article seems to be “I wasn’t fed.” The worlds of those profiled seem to be somewhat narrow – their small community of friends and the good deeds they can do around them. As good and satisfying as this truly is, this limits their degree of effectiveness. Many churches, working together and applying their human and financial resources to big problems, can and do make a difference.
The Rev. Bob Hannum (retired)
Include Taiwan in climate pact
Regarding the Dec. 28, 2015 & Jan. 4, 2016, Monitor’s View “Paris pact on climate change: What’s fear got to do with it?”: The United Nations climate talks reached a milestone in Paris when envoys adopted the first accord asking all countries to join the fight against global warming. The new climate accord also states, “Climate change ... requires the widest possible cooperation by all countries.” Regrettably, among the 196 nations that reached the landmark climate agreement in Paris, Taiwan is barred from being recognized as a state – despite the fact that the island nation is one of the leading economies in the world and willing to reduce its carbon emissions proactively. Let Taiwan join the action so that it, too, can contribute.